I've Been Raped
Straight boys, teens, and men never consider the possibility of being raped. It "doesn't happen".see note *
But it does.
Almost always it is nothing to do with sex.
I'll repeat that. Almost always it is nothing to do with sex.
It has to do with power, not sex. Power. The rapist using the power of his body to impose his will on the person who is raped. Penetrating the victim's body with his penis is the ultimate power trip for the rapist. So is your distress, and the pain he is causing you.
If it were to do with sex, why would straight men rape gay boys when they beat them up? And yes, it's almost always a straight man carrying out the rape. And he's not ever going to be gay. A power trip. Ok, there are always exceptions. And if you were raped by a gay man, I know you were one of those exceptions. I said "almost always". There are gay rapists too.
First things first. Rape is a crisis. And a crisis removes rational thought. So remember, there are things you need to do. This isn't an exhaustive list, but it's common sense.
- If you are a boy and have been raped by a family member, choose another one that you can trust. Go to them and talk to them. Do it now. And if it was a "friend of the family" do NOT believe any lies he tells you, for all he tells you is a pack of lies. Talk to your chosen family member today. But, if the family is abusive (at least one of my frineds lived in a totally abusive family) find a good person to tell. And insist that they help you. And if they will not, then go yourself to the police. Do it today. You did not deserve the rape, and you deserve to be free from it.
- Do not wash yet. However tempting to wash the rapist off your body, you need all the evidence you can get. This man needs to be stopped.
- If being raped has triggered your "dump reflex" try to contain it. It does pass. If you absolutely HAVE to go, collect the dump in a clean utensil. ANY clean utensil. You'll need the evidence.
- Do not go home. Call the police. Going home dilutes your evidence in court. "It can't have been that bad. You went home first." Of course, if home is nearest, go home!
- Be prepared to have your body touched intimately by medics. It will be unpleasant. It may even be painful. It is necessary whether you are collecting evidence for a prosecution or not. A medic can see if you have internal injuries that need attention. Try your very best to relax, and just treat it as a non event.
- You have the right to have a friend with you at all times.
- You have the right to insist that a particular person is NOT present during any examination or interview. This protects you if that person himself was the rapist and is pretending to be your friend to the authorities.
- Accept that you will cry. A lot. And make sure your friend knows this.
- Tell your friend if being touched is difficult for you. Try to accept a warm, soft, safe touch as soon as possible. You need to be able to be touched by people you like and love.
- If you are not gay, KNOW something clearly. You were not raped because you "looked gay", "led him on", or did anything to make him believe that you were gay. Remember, you are not gay because you have been raped, nor can being raped make you gay.
- That you have been raped does not make you dirty, nor does it make you less attractive.
- Recognise that you will feel guilt. This sounds ludicrous, but it's true. Tell your friend as soon as you can that you feel this guilt, and listen when you are told that it was not your fault. It is a proven fact that victims feel guilt. A weird thing, but true. It was not your fault. Not even if the sex happened during a date. "Misreading signals" is not an excuse for rape. The word "NO" is very specific. Being raped is never the victim's fault.
- Learn to talk about your experience. I have mixed views about the "counselling industry", there are many charlatans and people who just couldn't get jobs in the real world. That doesn't detract from the many good people who happen to counsel, some professionally. Find a person to speak to who offers a firm shoulder to cry on. And cry. Do it face to face, by phone, or anonymously online. Just make sure that you challenge any advice given to you before choosing whether to accept it or reject it. Be prepared to argue against advice to find out the rationale for it.
- When prosecuting the rapist, be prepared to rape HIM in court. People will tell you quite rightly that the courtroom experience will bring the entire experience back to you. But don't go in as a victim. Straight or gay it is not your sexuality on trial here, nor your prior sexual activity (if in an uncivilised country which still allows this as evidence). It is the bastard who raped you who is on trial. Your turn. Firm eye contact, even with him, no especially with him. Confident voice. Rape the bastard in court by telling the truth. Treat the judge and the prosecutor as your friends, and ask them for help if things get tough. Know one wonderful thing! When convicted, his jail buddies are likely to rape him, especially if you are not an adult. Child rapists get treated very badly in jail. Old justice is often the best!
- Check out the links below. There are other people who have suffered. Somehow it seems better if you aren't alone.
- Realise that it is possible to have been infected with HIV, but know that this is not a death sentence. Learn all you can about HIV, and treat your sex life as though you are HIV+ until proven clear. This is probably the worst part of having been raped. You may also have been infected with a "regular" Sexually Transmitted Disease. Get checked, and get treated.
- This one is a tough one. You may have had an orgasm while being raped. You may even have enjoyed the physical sensations even though you didn't want the sexual act. And because of this you may blame your body for "letting you down" in some way. Please try to understand something. Fear is a powerful stimulant. In addition, your body is designed to achieve orgasm. It has automatic systems which achieve it whether you want it to or not. They are as automatic as breathing and blood circulation. Orgasms happen. They do not mean that you wanted the sex, nor that you enjoyed the rape. Enjoyable sensations are the same. Discuss this with your friend, and with whoever you have chosen to counsel you. And do not be ashamed, nor embarrassed about it.
- There are drugs which can be slipped into your drinks or food which are tasteless and odourless and which then remove your free will. Rohypnol is one of these. It's known as the "Date Rape Drug". It renders you powerless. Some people will tell you that you are aware of things that are going on, and retain your memory of them. Others will tell you that it removes any memory. If you suspect that a drug like this has been used on you, then you need a medical examination. You need it now. Symptoms are likeoly to be blurred memories or "dreams", plus an odd sensation in or around your anus. There is likely to be unusual dampness, plus possible signs of bleeding. You many feel an overwhelming urge to take a dump on waking (try to contain this until the medical examination is done - you want evidence and DNA samples), or, if you have already taken a dump it may be an unusual one - looser, or more mucous than normal, or blood filled (dark red and smelling metallic). Since these can also be the symptoms of a hot curry and a large number of pints of lager (a peculiarly British habit), do use mature judgement on your course of action.
Above all, remember that people survive rape every day. 99% of them take the steps to resume normal and lively sex lives as soon as possible, and do not remain in fear of rape. It's a horrible crime to have forced on you. But it IS survivable. And it can be survived without any emotional damage, if you have friends, real or online, to help you through the aftershocks. No friends anywhere? Then I have a messageboard on this site to start you off. Post your cry for help there. Or grab any of us by email and talk.
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*I was asked to clarify this. Straight men and boys never even think of the possibility of anyone penetrating them at all, let alone someone doing it against their will. Being raped is an awful physical violation, and it's a huge emotional violation made larger by the lack of their even considering that it might happen.
When you are gay you either participate in or do not participate in penetrative anal sex. Thus it is an expected activity that is either desirable or not. And the possibility of rape is, as for a woman whose sexual activity tends to include being penetrated, is in the back of one's mind.
The gentleman who asked me to clarify this had been assaulted as an adult and was concerned that his first reaction was that I did not consider this to be a gay problem.
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|"Dedicated to a safe world, we are an organization of diverse individuals committed through research, education, advocacy, and activism to the prevention, treatment and elimination of all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men." Vast information at various levels, ressources for survivors, hotline, usegroups, chatrooms, book list.|
|Various informations and hotline with automatic connection to the closest rape crisis center (Not all centers seem to work with male rape victims, should be checked with RAINN).|
|Information for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault of adult men, list of hotlines and general ressources, bibliography and other links (site formerly named Doubting Thomas).|
|Website of Jim Hopper, Ph.D., with research results, bibliography, victim resources, and links to other pages of the author (Sexually Abused Males: Giving and Receiving Guidance and Hope / Factors in the Cycle of Violence - Abused Boys, Gender Socialization, and Violent Men / Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse: Scientific Research & Scholarly Resources / Trauma and Recovery - Judith Herman's Landmark Book on Child Abuse & Other Traumas).|
|Effective group therapy with male survivors of sexual abuse.|
|This page contains a special guestbook where survivors may lodge their own stories. It contains collated details from survivors of abuse. The first tale of institutionalised abuse is horrific. Not unusual. Just horrific.|